By Luke Tanaka, Radio Broadcaster
Battle Creek, Mich. – Early runs doomed the Battle Creek Bombers once again Tuesday night, as they rallied, but fell to the Lakeshore Chinooks 5-3.
After striking for four in the first inning of game one, the Chinooks plated two in the opening frame of game two to take a 2-0 lead. Kyle Fiala (Notre Dame) and Lucas Raley (Lake Erie) both hit one-out singles. Fiala reached third on Raley’s base hit and scored on Doug Kraeger’s (Richmond) groundout to short. With two-out and Raley on second, Zarley Zalewski (Kent State) doubled home his teammate to put up the second Chinooks run.
Lakeshore added one more against Bombers starter Andrew Mitchell (Auburn) in the second when, with two out, David Edson (Southern California) walked, stole second, and came around to score on Anthony Massicci’s (Canisius) RBI single.
Mitchell was solid through his final four innings, stranding five base runners and forcing two inning-ending double plays. He ended up pitching six innings, allowing six hits, three runs, and three walks, while striking out two Chinooks.
Lakeshore added one more insurance run in the seventh off of Bombers reliever Chase Tavonatti (Salt Lake CC). Fiala led off with a walk and crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice. After the run scored, the Chinooks loaded the bases with nobody out, but Tavonatti escaped the jam with a popout, strikeout, and fielder’s choice.
The Bombers’ pulled within one in the eighth inning with three runs. Brennon Lund (BYU) led off the inning by lofting a single to left and Christian Helsel (Penn State) followed with a ground ball through the left side, which allowed Lund to reach third. Cayce Bredlau (Austin Peay) plated two with a double down the right-field line, cutting the deficit to 4-2. Niko Pacheco (Cal State Fullerton) reached second on a fielder’s choice in which Bredlau was caught in a pickle, but reached third safely. The Bombers pulled within one on a routine groundout. After stepping on the bag at first, Zalewski threw to second to try to pick off Pacheco, but he was safe and Bredlau dashed home on the throw.
The Chinooks added a key insurance run in the ninth off of a dependable Battle Creek arm in Kaleb McCurry (Mars Hill University). Kraeger doubled and was replaced by Drake Parker on the base paths. Parker easily scored from second on a Zalewski single. It was McCurry's first run allowed since June 17.
The Bombers recorded two hits in the ninth, putting the tying run on first base, but Lakeshore’s Andrew Shaps (Arizona State) closed the door by striking out Bredlau.
Swain led the Battle Creek offense once again with three of the team’s 10 hits. Bredlau recorded the only Battle Creek RBIs on his one hit of the day, a double. Helsel and Lund (two hits each) both scored on Bredlau’s two-bagger.
Four lefties combined for the Lakeshore victory with starter Zac Lowther (Xavier) receiving the official win. Shaps recorded his first save of the season.
Raley (one run scored) and Zalewski (two RBIs) each had three hits to power the Chinooks offense.
Battle Creek (14-27/1-5) looks to recover from the sweep with a victory against the Green Bay Bullfrogs (25-16/3-3) tomorrow. Edgar Sanchez (Cedar Valley College) is scheduled to make his third start of the season (first since June 1). It is also another Poptarko Tuesday, which means fans can buy one of the latest concession concoction and get one free. It’s also Lakeview vs. Harper Creek Night.
The Battle Creek Bombers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). For more information, visit www.battlecreekbombers.com.
(Story photo courtesy of Battle Creek Photography and Design – Levi Green)